It’s likely even more people are now worried about being lonely at Christmas.
I was delighted to be invited back on to Andy Whittaker’s show on Radio Nottingham at breakfast today to talk about loneliness over this Christmas period.
First of all, I want to acknowledge that it’s a rubbish situation: we’ve had enough of this virus, whilst recognising we still have to keep following the rules.
My advice, and as much as you may not feel like it, is to plan and prepare yourself for the Christmas period. I also have a call to action for those of us lucky enough to still be able to see loved ones on Christmas Day.
Plan a lovely day
What would be lovely to do? Wake up with a lovely posh coffee, go for a morning walk? What’s your favourite dinner? Are you sticking with the roast or would you prefer a prawn stir-fry? And how about that box set you’ve been meaning to get stuck in to?
Over the next few days, write yourself a list of a few things you might do if you start to feel low.
And I mean small things e.g. making a cuppa and having a mince pie, going out the back door and breathing in some fresh air, message or ring a good friend, use that nice handcream you’ve got, do a few pieces of your jigsaw, put the radio on. Someone told me they like to put a wash on (whatever floats your boat!).
The idea is to have ready something you can easily encourage yourself to do if it starts to feel lonely.
And finally, but most importantly, whether you’re on your own or able to see family / friends, let’s stay connected. Arrange video and phone calls: agree a time and when the day comes stick to it. If you wonder how they are, pick up the phone, and gently discard any thought that might stop you. And a good idea is to agree what you’ll watch on telly and you can message during / speak after to discuss (I did that in the spring lockdown – it was surprisingly helpful!). And use your creativity – I’d love to hear what you plan to get up to for your alternative Christmas.
And I hope you can have a laugh about it, in a very British way!
How about checking with your neighbours what they will be up to? And maybe suggest meeting for a chat across the garden fence? I wondered if those of you with excess food now, might share some of your spare ingredients with neighbours who suddenly have to cater for themselves (as long as it’s safe, of course).
I hope you have a lovely Christmas break.
If you are thinking about counselling, I will be open for telephone counselling on Wednesday 29th December, then re-opening as usual from Saturday 2nd January. You can book online.